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Developing A Great Community Strategy

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

“I’ve written a great community strategy, but can’t get the organisation to adopt it”

Then it’s not a great strategy, is it?

It doesn’t matter what’s in the strategy if your organisation doesn’t embrace it. You can’t write a strategy in isolation for an unsuspecting audience and expect them to swallow it whole when it’s published.

That’s simply not how it works.

A great community strategy isn’t written, it’s facilitated. You set up collaborative processes to educate and solicit the opinions of your stakeholders. You bring everyone on the journey with you. You get people into the same room (or Zoom call) to discuss competing priorities, the trade-offs and build a consensus about where and how to move forward.

This also means you won’t get everything you want. That’s how collaboration works. The theoretical best strategy for the community and the best strategy with the resources, permission, understanding, and attitudes within the organisation are often very different.

The final strategy document should never be at risk of rejection. It’s simply the outcome of the discussions and decisions you’ve guided your colleagues through so far.

This is why it might be best to hire an outside consultant. This is a time-intensive process and is a very different skillset from simply managing a community (it also helps to have someone independent from the existing web of relationships within your organisation and with experience working at many other organisations).

A great strategy should feel like a breakthrough. All the critical decisions have been made. There shouldn’t be any more hold-ups. Everyone should be aligned on the community’s value, everyone should know what they need to do to support the community, and everyone should be excited to make it happen.

Some resources:

Your Brand’s Online Community Strategy
The Online Community Strategy Guide
Online Community Strategy Course
The Online Community Lifecycle

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